Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Jan 2010 18:58 UTC
Mozilla & Gecko clones "Firefox has just turned five, and it's doubtful anybody outside of Redmond begrudges Mozilla's celebrations. The open-source browser now accounts for 25% of the global market, according to figures from Net Applications, and has brought a radical rethink in what we expect from a browser. However, as Mozilla blows out the birthday cake candles, it might also be reflecting on the curse of getting what you wish for. Its success has forced rivals to raise their game, and the past two years have seen Microsoft, Apple and Opera close the features gap significantly."
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Comment by telns
by telns on Wed 20th Jan 2010 20:49 UTC
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Feature-wise, I think Opera has been leading the market for quite some time. That doesn't mean, of course, that it has every feature of every other browser, but I don't think it has been trying for years simply to catchup to Firefox.

I do think Firefox, with its greater market share, has pushed IE into improving, though I would attribute a healthy amount of the pressure not from FF directly, but from the security issues, and consequent headlines, that also lead to many improvements to Windows [XP] itself.

Verging back to Opera, a leader in one set of features doesn't mean you can let it rest. For example, I doubt they would have quite the same drive for increasing JS performance if it weren't for Chrome.

Even though I don't buy the premise that Opera has been lagging FF in features all this time, it does show that competition among all the players tends to promote progress in all the players. Ie, the introduction of one new, good feature forces all browsers to adopt it eventually.

That competition happens on a more equal playing field than one would at first suspect, since getting browsers into people's hands is so simple, even the major players (MS) have to respond to challenges by the minor ones (Mozilla, Opera) and vice versa.

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